Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re: Oh boy, another infection vector (Score 1) 230

by MrNaz (#48261511) Attached to: Windows 10 Gets a Package Manager For the Command Line

Perhaps you could have a two tier level of trust where repositories that are from signed approved vendors are automatically permitted, but unlisted ones require specific admin permission to install from. Of course, power users could mark an unlisted certificate as trustworthy to prevent the auth request, but it would prevent installs from silently coming in from hijacked repositories in the scenario described above.

Comment: Re:and they use cash businesses as examples (Score 1) 424

by Thangodin (#48235903) Attached to: Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

The problem is that it's a political trap. Any attempt to roll back these laws will result in some political opponent charging them with being soft on drugs, crime, terrorism, etc. And America now has a legislature that can't get anything done anyway, because there are a large number of people in office who make their name by blocking everything, including initiatives originally designed by their own party.

So the war on drugs, a bipartisan effort that resulted from this kind of rhetoric, has now created the largest incarceration rate since Stalinist Russia, militarized police that look and act like an occupying army, and now, the right to take whatever you have without justification. Law enforcement is simply taking advantage of a paralyzed government to do whatever they like, because you can't bring them to task. Instead of getting the job done, elected representatives are spending all their time bickering about faux issues like Benghazi, Affordable Health Care, etc, while the real issues which should have libertarians and Tea Partiers screeching just get ignored.

Hmmm... it's almost as if they actually don't care after all...

Comment: Re: On the other hand... (Score 2) 700

by MrNaz (#48209309) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

This is exactly correct. I've experienced this with a radio programming cable with a counterfeit chip supposedly from Prolific. The drivers that Windows automatically downloaded for it caused the device to not function. Rather than stuffing around with the supplier, I simply downloaded an old working driver, uninstalled the new driver, installed the old driver, and done.

Certainly not a job my mother could do, but also not the same as the OEM bricking devices, which would legally be dangerous for them as it could be argued that they were willingly causing property damage.

From a commercial point if view I think it is an appropriate measure, albeit perhaps not the most reasonable from consumers' perspectives.

Comment: Re:forensic 'science' (Score 1) 135

by Thangodin (#47858167) Attached to: New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

There is also the fact that Kosminski's personality profile fits that of a serial killer, he had a deep hatred of women, and he was a butcher (and had a knife that matched the cuts). Being a Polish Jew, Kosminski was a likely match for the person who left the 'Jewes' graffiti. This being the case, and with the already prevalent anger against Jews and immigrants in the wake of the murder and the news of the graffiti, it seems likely that the police actually knew they had their man, but did not want to prosecute him publicly for fear of starting an anti-Jewish progrom in London. So they locked him away and made certain that he could never get out.

Shortly after the anniversary of the murders, there was a television special where several experts were asked to weigh in on who the killer was. The most qualified person on the panel, a woman who worked on investigations of serial murderers, said that Kosminski was the obvious suspect, but the audience went with the Queen's Doctor theory because of a TV special that offered that theory--despite the fact that at the time of the murders, said Doctor had already suffered a stroke, and had lost the use of one of his hands. Conspiracy theories always favor the most powerful agencies for events of broad prominence; this is why large government conspiracies are always favored over individual (Lee Harvey Oswald) or small group (Al Quaeda) actors.

Comment: Re:If you can be replaced for $10/hour... (Score 2) 441

by Thangodin (#47733845) Attached to: Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

There is something going on here that no one seems to be talking about: the collapse of markets.

Karl Marx made one chilling prediction: when the workers did not have the money to buy the goods they produced, markets would collapse and capitalism itself would collapse. Henry Ford beat Marx when he paid his workers an unheard of $5 a day, creating in a single stroke the blue collar middle class and a market for his own goods. And this made America an economic powerhouse, not just for it power to produce, but for its power to consume. Gaining entry into that market is sufficient to make other nations bend over backward. It is the main well of American soft power.

Until now.

With the growth of capital intensive, rather than labor intensive, manufacturing, the wealth from the manufacturing industry is concentrated in a few hands, and markets continue to shrink even as productive capacity grows. Marx has become relevant again. In the early 2000's, when I heard about the shenanigans in the banking industry, I pessimistically predicted that these idiots would make Marx relevant again. And they have. Now I'm afraid that our new aristocracy will make Lenin relevant again. And believe me, you don't want to make Lenin relevant.

So that means we are going to have to employ people, and pay them a decent wage. Yes, even those that are less than the best and brightest, because being less than bright, they will find stupid ways to make money, most of which will land them in jail. And we have a burgeoning prison industry that would love that, but the prison industry is bankrupting us. Where once we had employment for ditch diggers and farmhands, now those jobs are done by machines. So, yes, we need to find something that they can do, and pay them for it. And it would cost far less to employ the barely literate as street sweepers and park gardeners, with a decent wage, than to house them all in prisons.

If you think you are immune to this trend, please keep in mind that one of the main thrusts of high tech research now is AI. Medicine and law are already within the scope of work that can be partially automated by AI, but the goal is to produce systems that can produce code on demand. And then, we will all discover what the blue collar worker had been experiencing for decades.

But the one percent cannot support capitalism, certainly not when they're own markets are dying.

We need to figure this out. And soon.

Comment: Re:Next wave of phishing? (Score 1) 149

by MrNaz (#47612605) Attached to: Gmail Recognizes Addresses Containing Non-Latin Characters

I agree. The real solution is hardened authentication getting baked right into email. I'm all for UTF8 domain names and email user names, however if the email protocol suite is going to be expanded to allow for more features, then I think security should be top of that list.

Sure, for a while, domains that span multiple character sets such as with a Cyrillic o could be spam flagged, however what happens when (not, if, but when) legitimate domains with multiple character sets start appearing? What about domains that use characters restricted to the intersection of two character sets such that they appear to be from one but are in fact from another?

The ONLY answer to this is an email client that can associate a certificate with a domain and checks it against received email as a matter of course. This solution not only has the property of preventing domain spoofing, but also comprehensively solves the spam problem. (It didn't get done earlier because it fell foul of the "requires everyone to agree at the same time" point on that pro forma "Why your proposal won't work" sheet.)